Stacey Barnaby, FCRH ’11, Julianne Troiano, FCRH ’11, and current senior Rebecca Triano recently won National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowships. These prestigious fellowships are awarded annually to foster scientific research and support outstanding graduate students in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
Fellows are awarded a three-year annual stipend of $30,000 along with $10,500 in education allowance toward the graduation institution of their choice. The allowance funds fellows’ tuition and fees, opportunities for international research and professional development, and the freedom to conduct their own research.
Since its creation in 1952, the highly competitive fellowship has been awarded to less than 9 percent of more than 500,000 applicants.
“The fellowship award is based on intellectual merit, but also the broader impact of your research,” said Triano, a chemistry major. “They place emphasis on what you can do beyond the scientific community.”
For Triano, that broader impact is targeted toward helping the environment. As part of her application, Triano submitted a research proposal that combined research she conducted at Fordham and the University of California, Berkeley. Working with Amy Balija, Ph.D., assistant professor of chemistry, Triano performed organic synthesis research on molecules that remove pollutants from water. Her research at UC Berkeley, meanwhile, focused on developing certain catalysts that help to convert methane into usable energy.
In her application, Triano proposed to use the molecules she develops in Balija’s lab to transform methane.
“For three students to win this prestigious award from the same, small undergraduate department in a single year is truly remarkable,” said Michael Latham, Ph.D., dean of Fordham College at Rose Hill. “It also speaks to the great generosity of our faculty in supporting students in undergraduate research.”
Both Barnaby and Troiano are currently pursuing their doctorate degrees at Northwestern University. Barnaby primarily researches macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanochemistry, while Troiano researches sustainable chemistry.
Triano will begin a doctoral program in organic chemistry at UC Berkeley in the fall.
— Joanna Klimaski